It is natural to feel a strain on your mental health under the current circumstances.
Economies are suffering, people are worried about losing their jobs. Many parents have children at home and have to juggle taking care of their kids with getting work done. And on top of this, physical health is a huge concern too.
We can all benefit from taking the time to better manage our mental health in these challenging times, so read on to explore simple, practical strategies that can help keep your stress under control.
Do some exercise that makes you sweat, or if that’s too much at least take regular walks. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which interact with the receptors in your brain and reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to morphine, so gives you a great boost!
Get 7-9 hours sleep
Be sure to get enough sleep. Research shows if we regularly get less then 7 hours sleep it can cause us to feel more stressed, fuels anxiety and can even sometimes lead to depression. If you struggle to sleep, make sure to create a good bedtime routine to build better sleeping habits.
Try to reduce the amount of junk food you eat and maximise the amount of healthy fruit and vegetables in your diet. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
If you find this difficult when you’re stuck at home, try using your extra time to cook new, interesting recipes. This gives the triple benefit of providing good nutrition, a fun activity to keep you busy and of course a delicious meal as a reward at the end of it!
Reduce time on social media and the internet
Too much time on social media or constantly watching the news about Coronavirus can quickly plummet you into a deep pit of anxiety. Limit the time you spend online and try leaving your phone in another room so you’re not checking it constantly throughout the day. Easier said than done in an internet-obsessed world, but very beneficial if you can manage it.
Learn something new
We all love occasionally binge-watching TV dramas on Netflix all day. But a more constructive way to use your time is spending it learning a new skill, like coding or a new language. You will feel good about yourself as you learn and grow, and if you can share your progress with others learning a similar skill you get the added benefit of being part of a community.
If you haven’t tried meditation before or don’t do it regularly, it can be a great way to switch off from your worries and reset your mind. Apps such as Headspace or Calm are now very popular. Another great resource is the Release Meditation Technique by Brendon Burchard. With so many easy-to-access support apps available, getting into meditation isn’t as hard as it seems.
Reframe Challenging Situations
No matter what challenging situation you are facing there is always a silver lining or something positive you can focus on. Try to be aware when you are focusing on negative thoughts; reframe and ask yourself what good you can identify or what you can learn from the situation.
During these challenging times it’s important to get the basics right and live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. These are the keys to managing our mental health and stress levels.
Which of these seven strategies are you going to try to do more of?